Zuraida Kamaruddin, who has been appointed as Housing Minister one month ago, thanked private property developers for offering to help the new federal government solve Malaysia’s housing woes, especially the lack of affordable homes.
“They see my statements, my media interviews – they see the direction I am taking and are very fast to respond with their support. I am very surprised,” she told the Borneo Post.
“They come and tell me that they are not focused on profits – that it is time to give back to the country. That’s the kind of attitude they have,” she during a courtesy visit to Sarawak’s Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
This comes as the Housing Ministry is looking into a proposal for banks to consider all income sources of housing loan applicants, given the mortgage rejection rates for low- and middle-income families.
“Apart from the second and third incomes, I think banks also have to look into projected incomes,” she noted, adding that lenders could adopt a flexible stance when it comes to credit ratings for low-income households or the bottom 40 percent (B40).
“For working applicants, your salary increases from time to time. This has to be considered — in five years’ time, their income should be better than theirs now, so we have to give them that kind of assessment as to whether they can or cannot take up these loans.”
Queried on when the new housing loan guidelines will be introduced, Zuraida said she has not yet officially discussed these with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
“We are in the midst of scheduling a meeting with them — it should be very soon since this is a very important topic. I hope to do it within these next two weeks.”
Moreover, she said the federal government may potentially launch a rent-to-own scheme for the B40 group, who may opt to rent for the first two to three years before deciding to buy.
Zuraida said she will be able to announce more details once these the housing rules and policies are finalised and approved by the Cabinet, which is set to hold a meeting next month.
Image sourced from Sayang Sabah
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